Paper Monitor: The sketch show

David Cameron

Some jobs in journalism are harder than others. It's all about creating sparkle.

It requires a special kind of sparkle creation ability (SCA) to do your best work for International Car Park Design. Or any of the other publications that have appeared on Have I Got News For You.

And even on mainstream publications you sometimes need a bit of SCA. Take parliamentary sketch-writers for instance. Day after day, they must describe the actions of a group of people typically regarded as a little on the dull side. But the sketchwriters must do it in a way that makes you laugh.

Actually making people laugh using words in a newspaper is nigh on impossible, so kudos to them all.

But today's sketch in the Daily Telegraph is a rare example of SCA in abundance. Michael Deacon is writing about David Cameron's speech at the Conservative conference. But he writes it in the style of David Cameron's speech.

"Listing things. Listing some more things... Talking in the sort of tone you might use when patiently giving directions to a tourist who looks a bit dim and speaks hardly a word of English."

And so on, all in fairly acid fashion.

By comparison, Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail is more the standard fare, although he does deserve credit for a mildly amusing observation about the effect of teleprompter failure at the conference.

The Daily Express's coverage is notable for its macerhallishness. That is to say it all appears to have been written by political editor Macer Hall, who clocks up four bylines in just one paper.

Paper Monitor always likes a Trojan.

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